A new Sultan of Ethiopia's Afar people has been enthroned in November 2011.
He is Hanfareh Ali Mirah
, the son of the late Sultan Ali Mirah Hanfareh
. Sultan Hanfareh served as regional president of the Afar region in post Derg Ethiopia, and as Ethiopian ambassador to Kuwait.
New Sultan Hanfareh unlike his father has enjoyed warm relations with the current Ethiopian government.
Both spiritual and traditional leader to the two million Afar people who live in a triangle shape region between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti, the sultan will assume important responsibilities at both regional and national levels, Aramis Houmed, advisor to the new sultan, told Addis Journal.He said the appointment will make the process of succession smoother and more orderly.While traditional leaders hold few constitutional powers, they continue to exert significant influence, the advisor said.They are seen as custodians of both religion and tradition.
Hanfreh Ali Mirah, aged 60, is a member of the most powerful family group in Afar, and one of the sons of sultan Ali Mirah, the spiritual chief of the Afars and founder of the Afar Liberation Front (ALF). The move follows the death last April of Sultan Ali Mirah. Thousands of members of the Afar community, clan leaders and elders from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, representative of the federal government of Ethiopia and Djibouti, and diplomatic corpses in Addis Ababa are expected to participate in the historic rites and wish the new sultan well. Another of heir to the sultanate, Habib Ali Mirah who at times has been at loggerhead with older brother will also be attending the event.
Born in 1951, Mirah along with his father fought in the guerrilla war against Mengistu Haile Mariam and later joined forces with the EPRDF collation, which came to power in 1991. When the new Afar region was set up in 1992, Mirah joined his father as an administrator of the Afar region set up in 1992 and later served as president of the Afar regional State (1995-96). He has been the leader of a faction of the Afar regional Front since 1996. He also served as ambassador of Ethiopia to Kuwait.
More than one millions Afar lives in Ethiopia. Theses nomadic peoples are organized into the four Sultanates of Tadjourha (Djibouti), Rahaital (Eritrea and Djibouti), Baylul (Eritrea) and Aussa (Ethiopia). The 14th Sultan of Aussa will be coroneted in the traditional procedure.
Ethiopia: New sultan to be crowned in Afar « ethiopiantimes